Last year the Daily Mail published a fantastic story about a woman who managed to stop her migraines after cutting out corn and dairy products from her diet – with the help of a nutritionist and a food intolerance test! She had suffered terribly on a weekly basis for years on end, which is so sad to see when the cause was something as simple as eliminating a couple of foods from her diet. Food intolerance testing can help people tackle all sorts of conditions be it head related, stomach problems or skin conditions. I’m so glad I found out about it!
I first developed eczema at the age of around 14 during my standard grade exams. The doctors put it down to stress, and not knowing any better, I simply agreed and went along with it. It was a pretty stressful time in my school life, and having never had any real problems with my skin prior to this, I guess it made sense at the time. Seven years later though, when the medicated creams failed to work time and time again, and the eczema kept coming back more and more aggravated each time, I began to question whether there could be something more to my flare ups than just stress. I visited Beverley in April last year for a food intolerance test – after my little brother had received his results for his own testing with regards to his abdominal pain. I was amazed that the test had managed to narrow down his problems to specific foods and as my brother had done so well and his symptoms had gone away I wanted to know if the foods I was eating on a day to day basis could be the culprit for my irritated skin!
My results came back just one week later, and I took out chilli, garlic, ginger, yeast, gluten and dairy and was recommended to avoid these for 3 months and then re-introduce slowly and see how my skin reacted. It was definitely a thought to begin with – I was so used to eating whatever I wanted be it chocolate, crisps, pizza etc., I was a sucker for convenience food! I can honestly say now that my diet is much more varied and relatively healthy now which is a huge benefit having gone through this process.
Since having switched my diet, I have seen a huge improvement in my overall health, not just my skin. My eczema has improved tremendously, and although it has flared up a little on my hands right now – this normally happens when the weather goes from one extreme to another. When my diet was mostly rubbish based, I would often take a nap during the day as I would get quite tired around 3pm. I can now function like a normal person from 6am – 11pm without a nap, which is a massive improvement as I can actually do things after work and with my evenings! Finally, the results that I have been most pleased with is my stomach. I no longer feel bloated on a day to day basis. I no longer need to eat and eat and eat to feel full, and I’ve lost around about a stone – solely from switching around my diet (and eating more!), and no extra exercise, which is amazing.
I’ve since introduced all of the spices back into my diet with no problems as of yet – and I’m currently playing around with yeast too. At the moment I have no intentions of introducing dairy or gluten foods back into my diet. Of course this is all still a work in progress, however I’m absolutely delighted with all of my results. I feel a whole lot healthier on the inside and out - and would very much recommend a visit to a nutritionist if you feel that your diet could be improved, but you don’t know how to go about it. I also highly recommend Food Intolerance testing as it is life changing and saves years of unnecessary visits to the doctor and endless rounds of steroids. Wish I had done it sooner!
- Lauren, Aberdeen
If you would like to find out more about food intolerance testing or book an appointment pop in and see us at Nourishing Insights, 44 St Andrew Street, Aberdeen, AB25 1JA or call 01224 969637.
Probiotics seem to be something that everyone is talking about these days, but what exactly are they? What do they do? Where do they come from? How do I know if I need one?
'Probiotic' literally means 'for life'. More often are defined as being "viable microorganisms that have a beneficial effect in the prevention and treatment of specific pathologic conditions when they are ingested". Basically they are the good bacteria that should be found in your gut. Did you know that approximately 85% of your immune system is found in the gut? This is because it is the job of these good bacteria to be the gatekeepers to our body. They are our first defence against foreign bodies, preventing colonization by viral and bacterial pathogens.
Wondering where you got your good bacteria from in the first place? Your mum! During a vaginal delivery the baby is covered in secretions which contain it's mothers bacteria. The mother passes her gut flora on to her baby and this in turn colonizes their gut. From that day forward we are constantly changing our gut flora depending on what we ingest. We are exposed to coughs, colds, travel, different foods, medications and all of these impact our gut ratio between good and bad bacteria.
Sat there thinking well my granny hasn't taken a probiotic and she never gets ill at 96! The truth is that she has probably had her fair share of 'probiotics' but they just didn't call them that then. Traditionally fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, raw yoghurt and even beer were all sources of good bacteria. In the days before fridges and supermarkets, fermentation was a way of preserving produce to survive long winters.
These days everything goes in the fridge, crops are sprayed with pesticides which just like the antibiotics you get from the doctors are not selective about whether the bacteria they are killing is good or bad. Most supermarket products have also been pasteurised to extend shelf life and prevent outbreaks of harmful bacteria. This means that the good bacteria in traditionally fermented foods is killed along with any bad that may have been present.
The good news is that there is now a move back towards traditional probiotics with kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut gaining in popularity. Thinking about stocking up on those yoghurt drinks from the supermarket? Think again! Did you know that many of them have more sugar per 100g than fizzy pop? One of the easiest ways to up your good bacteria is to take a probiotic supplement many of which also contain prebiotics (food not absorbed by the host that supports the growth of good bacteria).
So do you need a probiotic? The reality is that most of us should take a probiotic supplement even just in the short term. Why? The vast majority of us have at some point done at least one of the following all of which negatively effect your gut flora: taken an antibiotic; suffered from colds and viruses; have IBS or IBD; taken the contraceptive pill; taken steroids; travelled abroad; suffer from or have a family history of auto immune conditions e.g. under-active thyroid, diabetes, lupus, psoriasis, etc; or allergenic conditions e.g. food allergies and excema.
There is a wealth of research out there which clearly demonstrates the huge role that probiotics have in supporting our immune system and preventing disease. A recent study examining the role of probiotics in the reduction of diabetes states that probiotics contribute to a reduction in inflammatory response and oxidative stress. This leads to increased insulin sensitivity and a reduction in the autoimmune response. Increasingly well known is the fact that our gut micro biome influences our mental health with neurotransmitters manufactured in the gut including serotonin and GABA.
Allergenic diseases have increased over the last 40 years in industrialized nations but NOT in the developing world. Put simply we are just too clean, our homes and farms are sprayed to within an inch of their lives, we eat processed foods and we aren't exposed to the diseases we once were. All of this impacts on our gut flora and prevents the normal responses to allergens from developing properly leading to an increase in disease. Children with food allergies have been found to have an imbalance between good bacteria and potentially harmful ones. The same has been observed in a study of children with atopic eczema.
So which one should I take? Well firstly you need to find a probiotic which is scientifically proven to survive gut acidity. Then the answer is it really depends on you and what your individual needs are. If you are looking to support mental health a probiotic with bacterial strains proven to support depression and anxiety would be a good start e.g. lactobacillus acidophilus Rosell-52 and bifidobacterium long rosell 175 found in Optibac for everyday. However, there are a variety of ranges designed specifically for different needs: travel abroad, when you're taking antibiotics, pregnancy, breastfed babies, bottlefed babies, managing cholesterol levels, one for women for targeting the intimate flora, the list goes on.
Still not sure, or just want to know more? Pop into the shop and have a chat with us.
R. Rolfe. (2000) The Role of Probiotic Cultures in the Control of Gastrointestinal Health. Journal of Nutrition. 130 p.3965-4025
M.Geuking et al. (2014) The interplay between the gut microbiota and the immune system. Gut Microbes 5(3) p. 411-418
P. Kirjavaninen et al. (2001) Characterizing the composition of intestinal microflora as a prospective treatment target in infant allergic disease. FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology. 32 (1) p. 1-7
B. Bjorksten et al. (1999) The intestinal microflora in allergic Estonian and Swedish 2-year-old children. Journal of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 29(3) p 342-346.
A.Gomes et al. (2014) Gut microbiota, probiotics and diabetes. Nutrition Journal. 13(60)
Optibac probiotics For Women
£9.99 - £49.99
‘For women’ contains two highly researched strains, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1® and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14®, which have been clinically trialled by over 2,500 women around the world.
The two strains in this product are proven to survive to reach the intimate area. With over 30 years of research, you can trust that if you want a live cultures supplement especially for female intimate flora, OptiBac Probiotics ‘For women’ is the one for you.
This supplement is safe and appropriate for women in the menopause, as well as for pregnant & breastfeeding mothers.
Alongside taking this product, it may also be worthwhile considering lifestyle factors such as diet (for example reducing your intake of sugar, which can feed harmful bacteria and yeasts), increasing your water intake, and avoiding wipes, douches and soaps in the intimate area, which can upset the natural vaginal pH.
OptiBac probiotics for daily immunity 30 capsules
Live cultures and Vitamin C Food supplement
Vitamin C contributes to the normal function of your immune system and to the reduction of fatigue. This optibac product contains 4 natural strains of bacteria, along with grape seed, green tea and pine bark extracts which are rich in polyphenols.
Optibac probiotics One week flat
'One week flat' is a food supplement containing natural bacteria (live cultures), in powdered sachets to be taken daily as a one-week course. This can be taken once a month, or as frequently as desired.
Optibac for Everyday
£12.99 - £32.99
What's it for?
6 different live cultures, with FOS fibres, for everyday use.
Who's it for?
For anyone, aged 1 year and over, seeking a general OptiBac live cultures supplement.
Each capsule:Provides 5 billion live microorganisms + 88mg of FOS fibres.
Filler: potato starch; Live cultures: (Lactobacillus rhamnosus Rosell-11, Lactobacillus acidophilus Rosell-52, Bifidobacterium longum Rosell-175, Lactococcus lactis Rosell-1058, Bifidobacterium breve Rosell-70, Bifidobacterium bifidum Rosell-71); Fructooligosaccharides (FOS 88mg); vegetarian capsule: hydroxypropyl methylcellulose; anti-caking agent: magnesium stearate; antioxidant: ascorbic acid
Suitable for Vegetarians
Optibac for Everyday Max Strength
What's it for?
A quality 50 billion option from OptiBac, suitable for everyday use.
Who's it for?
For those who want a very high strength, yet high quality, live cultures supplement.
Provides 50 billion live microorganisms, guaranteed until end of expiry.
Live cultures: (Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM®, Bifidobacterium lactis Bl-04, Bifidobacterium lactis HN019); vegetarian capsule: hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, titanium dioxide; stabiliser: micro-crystalline cellulose; anti-caking agents: vegetable magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide.
Daily dose (1 capsule) guarantees 50 billion micro-organisms.
Optibac for Everyday Extra Strength 30's
£23.99 - £59.99
What's it for?
A premium option from OptiBac containing L. acidophilus NCFM®, for every day use.
Who's it for?
For anyone who feels the need for extra strength live cultures support.
Each capsule:Provides 20 billion live microorganisms, guaranteed until end of expiry.
Filler: micro-crystalline cellulose; Live cultures: (Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM®, Lactobacillus paracasei Lpc-37, Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07, Bifidobacterium lactis Bl-04, Bifidobacterium bifidum Bb-02); vegetarian capsule: hydroxypropyl methylcellulose; titanium dioxide; anticaking agents: vegetable magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide.
Each capsule guarantees 20 billion micro-organisms.
Spring is a time for new beginnings, here at Nourishing we are following in the Snowdrops footsteps and blooming a little earlier. Hoping to open "officially" on the 11th of February with our sign unveiling we will be open for business over the next few days so feel free to pop in for a chat and a browse.
Located at 44 St Andrew Street, Aberdeen, AB25 1JA We are just around the corner from John Lewis. Even without the sign you will still find us, just look for the turret!
Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday 10am - 6pm
Thursday 10am - 8pm
Saturday 10am- 5pm
Closed Sunday & Monday
Our new shop and wellness centre has a wide range of supplements, natural cosmetics, health foods and teas to help support you reach your health goals. We are especially excited to stock a selection of Scottish products including: IQ superfood chocolate (scientifically proven by the Rowett Institute and RGU to have "superior nutritional value compared to other high cocoa content chocolate bars") and Almighty Food's stone ground, sprouted nut butters. If you were looking for an ethical and healthier version of Chocolate Spread their Hazelnut Fuj is definitely the answer!
We also have Pukka's new Clean Me Green 14 day organic wellbeing kit the perfect thing to reignite your wellness campaign if you fell of the wagon in January. (We don't judge those dark nights are enough to make the best of us reach for a slice of cake!!)
Wondering what to buy your loved one for Valentines Day? How about an evening of relaxation with a hot bath using our magnesium filled Epsom salts, followed by a warming cup of Pukka Love Tea and some delicious IQ or Ombar chocolate.
In addition to Nutritional Therapy with Beverley we will also be offering Massage Therapy with Harriette including Oncology Massage, Natural Facelift Facials and Baby Massage Classes. To book a consultation call us on 01224 969637.
We look forward to welcoming you soon.
Harriette and Beverley xx
This is the time of year for us all to panic and feel overwhelmed as we make new year's resolutions which are often re-scheduled to the following year before Burn's night! This is largely because we make a plan to deprive ourselves of all the things we like and not only that but we actually make the mistake of assuming that we need to deprive ourselves of the very things our body needs e.g. fat!
Living well is not about deprivation. It's about recognising what's good for us and having more of it! When we seize with both hands all that is good for mind body and soul, we look better, we feel better, we think better, we love better.
The wonderful thing is that to enjoy all of these simple but proven health tips we don't have to spend lots of money joining expensive clubs. Nor do we have to count anything, unless it's your blessings or the number of colourful veg on your plate!
Life is for living. Give it your best shot and choose habits that bring nourishment to both body and soul. A body that is deprived of neccesary nutrients will find itself hungry for anything it can get its hands on. This is nature! My clients are always delighted when I ask them to eat more in order to find their way to a body weight which is ideal for them. We can't boost our metabolism by eating foods low in calorific value, we boost metabolism by eating Nutrient dense foods which nourish us! The bottom line is, if we support our natural physiology by enjoying all the good things nature provides, it will support us! If we try to go against nature, our body will let us down.
So, go easy on yourself this year. Love your body, love your mind and replace deprivation with indulgence of all that is good. The rest will take care of itself!
Available at Nourishing Insights clinic and shop at 44 St Andrew Street, Aberdeen or can be done at home. Food Intolerance testing can help a variety of conditions. If you have been suffering for some time and are getting by on endless rounds of pills which only offer symptomatic relief at best, food intolerances may be behind your continued health challenges. This test is suitable for children from 2 years old and involves a simple pin prick test. I offer a free 20 min consultation by phone to discuss your needs further and will advise as appropriate for each case. Test results are back within 10 working days. For small children our preferred approach is the gold standard which is an elimination diet. Ultimately the focus with our service is about getting to individual route cause and working on gut healing so as to restore immune tolerance and introduce most foods back where possible.
Intolerance versus allergy.
The test involves a simple pin prick test which goes off to a UK registered Medical Laboratory. This test is an IgG test which looks at your Immunoglobulin G response to particluar foods. There is much confusion and misinformation about food intolerances and what they actually are. An 'Allergy' is where you have an instant reaction to something as is often the case with common allergies to foods such as nuts and shellfish or even a bee sting. This can be a mild allergic response to a severe and sometimes even life threatening reaction where the person can go into anaphylactic shock. For these stronger reactions, it is necessary to carry a preventive medicine such as an epipen and serious care needs to be taken in managing this condition. The immunoglobulin involved in this case is IgE and testing for this is often done via the NHS. However we can now offer allergy testing also at our clinic if this is required. IgE testing at our clinic is also a pin prick blood test and the test offers both food and environmental allergens.
An 'intolerance' on the other hand, involves an IgG response and the challenge with this is that it is often less obvious to the person experiencing it. Many people live for years without even considering that they may have one. That said, many of us know exactly when we've eaten something that our body doesn't like and a reaction can be fairly quick following a meal and can be quite severe. What is interesting is that when the results of a test come back, they often validate what the person was expecting and are thus very reassuring. One of the challenges is that it can take up to 72 hours to experience an IgG reaction which means you could for example, eat a potato on a saturday and have migraine on a monday and not join the dots between the two. So if you are one of those people who are not making the connection with food triggers, this could be why. The delayed reaction also makes it slightly trickier and time consuming when doing diary taking and elimination diets, although I also offer this approach and it works really well for many.
It is of course possible to have both allergies and intolerances. For example you may have an 'allergy' to latex or nuts and a 'food intolerance' for dairy and yeast. There is also the option to test for both IgG and IgE at the same time if this is preferable.
Of course, there are other issues running alongside intolerances and the protocol for dealing with them involves more than just removal of identified triggers! This is where a Registered Nutritional Therapist comes in as I can ensure that you are well supported for total nutrient intake. I may also recommend further testing either via your GP or privately to identify other culprits. Ultimately, I will work with you to achieve balance and wellness across all body systems and tackling all of your health challenges in turn. We will also work together to heal the gut at cellular level and support digestive enzymes, stomach acidity and other fundamental aspects of optimal digestive health.This way, you will be able to re-introduce some foods as you heal over time and build back immune tolerance. Nutritional Therapy deals with the root cause of these problems. A food intolerance may indeed be causing your migraine. However, the ultimate cause is the reason for the food intolerance in the first place. This takes us to 'leaky gut' or intestinal permeability or perhaps you have low stomach acid. There are multiple factors that can set us up for developing a food intolerance from chronic stress to gut infections or drug medications. Food intolerance is therefore a symptom of an underlying weakness in your intestinal integrity. If this is not corrected, further problems will ensue longer term. An IgG test can only be carried out as a blood test but the lab we use offer a simple pin pick blood which can be done at home.
Weight loss as a side effect not as a goal!
One of the pleasant side effects of Nutritional therapy is that people usually lose weight. All recommendations involve following a 'clean' diet and the wonderful thing is that the appropriate support is given to be able to achieve this whatever your starting point. Something to consider regarding other weight loss approaches is that you can actually lose weight without eating healthy 'clean' foods. One example of this is just eating less. If we eat less 'junk' then of course we may lose weight but if we continue to eat foods that do not provide the right information to our cells, we are in big trouble! Add to this the fact that many of the foods we are told are 'healthy' are not. Weight loss should never be your primary goal to achieve wellness. It should follow naturally from following a health promoting lifestyle and appropriate foods for you. In addition weight gain can be an unpleasant side effect of unidentified food intolerance due to inflammation and fluid retention. If you have suddenly gained weight out of the blue, ask yourself if you have recently introduced a new routine example protein shakes at breakfast containing dairy of soya based protein powders as if you are reacting to either the dairy or the soya you can gain weight or really struggle to lose any.
IBS, pain and autoimmune conditions, skin conditions.
The commonest reasons for seeking food intolerance testing are the above and the results can be life changing for those who benefit. Double blind studies have shown a clear link between food intolerance and IBS with one study demonstrating a third of participants having at least one if not multiple food intolerances. In addition some sufferers of IBS benefit from following a low FODMAP's approach for a period of time, more in our IBS blog. Other very common conditions that are affected by food intolerance are Endometriosis and Eczema, asthma and hay fever, joint pain, migraine and mental health conditions.
Interestingly, if you have an autoimmune condition, for example underactive thyroid or psoriasis, did you know that you are also at risk of developing other autoimmune conditions if you don't take steps to support your immune system now? I follow a Functional Medicine approach to my work as a Nutritional Therapist and autoimmune disease is an area of specialism for me.
A Nutritional therapy consultation will help you get to the root of your particular health challenges. A food intolerance test can be done as a stand alone test without a full consultation as above, but a half hour consultation will always be completed to discuss your heath needs before the test is completed. Advice will also be given as to whether testing is appropriate or not.
To make an appointment and to discuss your health challenges further, please phone 01224 969637 or contact us here I offer telephone and skype/zoom appointments for those at a distance. (Check with your insurance provider to see if Nutritional Therapy is covered)
Prices can be found on our testing page.
#Aberdeen #Nutritionist #Functional Medicine #Food intolerance
I made an appointment with Beverley as I was struggling with underactive thyroid and had just been diagnosed with Polycystic ovary Syndrome. I didn't fully understand the link between autoimmune disease and food intolerance although I had suffered IBS for years, so it was all making sense! I was keen to deal with my PCOS through diet and supplements instead of drugs and am delighted in my success. Through eating the right foods for me, and balancing my blood sugar I was able to lose 2 stone and sort my hormones out. The result of all this (which I have to say wasn't as hard as I had anticipated!), is that I am now expecting my first baby! Highly recommend Beverley and Nutritional Therapy which really is life changing. Hannah, Aberdeenshire.
Who said getting your 'five a day' was difficult?! With this recipe, we not only have 6 veg in the sauce, we also have another 3 greens in the salad! 9 in one meal? Well, I did say there was a sexy twist!
So, how did we do it? Well our sauce was made with grass fed beef (extra omega 3) along with
red peppers high in vitamin C so perfect to help absorb the Iron in the beef! The vitamin A in the pepper also improves night vision and the magnesium and B6 work together to help reduce anxiety. Interestingly, recent research has shown that sweet red peppers can increase thermogenesis and therefore metabolic rate. What? Burning calories? This meal just got sexier! But there's more...
The tomatoes are also high in vitamin C and the wonderful chemical which makes peppers and tomatoes red is lycopene which releases on heating. Lycopene has been shown in many studies to prevent many cancers and is well known for its protective effects against prostate cancer. We added a jar of Organic Passata along with a punnet of small tomatoes to add fibre and texture. Mushrooms are also known for their cancer protective effects as they are immuno-modulating and anti-inflammatory. The onion and garlic are from the allium family, much like leeks, scallions and chives which could also be used in this recipe! Onions also contain Vit C, B6, Folate, Iron and Potassium. But the super exciting ingredient is possibly the quercetin which has been found to act as a powerful anti-histamine and antioxidant! The popular use of onions in French cuisine has been suggested to be one of the reasons behind the French paradox as onions have been shown to improve blood lipids! Our advice is...add onion to everything! Then there's the garlic and we all know what a superfood it is in terms of taste and health benefits. This immune boosting superfood should also be included daily as it has been shown in countless studies to be cancer protective.
TOP TIP: Add garlic towards the end of cooking to maximine taste and enhance benefits. We also added spinach, again a wonderful nutrient dense vegetable with lots of folate, magnesium, Vit A, C, and calcium. Put a few handfuls in at the end and hide away the greens from small children (and not so small children!) to enhance their nourishment.
Our green salad was made with Romaine Lettuce which oddly enough is high in protein and an excellent source of calcium, so if you add it to calcium rich fruits like oranges you will have more calcium than a glass of milk! The little gem lettuce and coriander add yet more vit C and folate among other nutrients. The more greens the better!
I have to say, I rarely eat pasta. Most pastas are made from white bleached wheatflour which is great for weight gain but doesn't really pack a nutrient punch! This one is a gluten free brown rice option which is high in insoluble fibre but keep the portion size small, around a quarter of your plate. There are other good alternatives such as chickpea and buckwheat pasta which are better for fibre, nutrients and low glycaemic index, so have a look in your health store for options.
So.. there you have it. Buon appetito ( as they say in Italy!)
Welcome to the 21 day oatcake challenge!!
Many people ask me for simple, stress free hints and tips that involve the least effort but have the maximum impact.... so here we have it 'the 21 day oatcake challenge.'.
All you have to do is to replace every slice of bread you would normally consume each day with an oatcake/s for 21 days and the benefits to your health as well as your waistline will be well worth the tiny bit of effort involved.
Of course, there are lots of oatcakes out there but I'd like you to choose the Nairn's oatcakes or Paterson's. They don't have to have the words Gluten Free but they do have to be wheat free to be beneficial to your health. (Some of the triangular, slightly larger versions contain wheat so please avoid) Oats are naturally Gluten free but in order to carry that on the label they have to be manufactured in a part of the factory away from any gluten for the benefit of people with a serious allergy, so we don't have to worry about that unless we know we are one of those people. You will notice that Nairn's also make sweet biscuits. If you are continuing to eat sweet biscuits during this challenge, then please replace with these ones. However, we would recommend you take the opportunity to reduce sugar and try plain oatcakes with a savoury or nut topping instead. This will keep you going longer, so you don;t feel hungry and will maintain energy levels which is what we all need these days!
Oats are packed with both soluble and insoluble fibre which means they help to promote healthy digestion and also help us to feel fuller for longer. They contain a particular type of fibre known as beta-glucan which is known to reduce the bad type of cholesterol in our blood reducing our risk of coronary heart disease. Studies have also shown a link between consumption of oats and reduced colorectal cancer due to the fibre content.
Oatcakes also have a high mineral content especially manganese and phosphorous and are excellent for maintaining our energy levels. They also have a low glycaemic index which makes them helpful in managing blood glucose, especially if topped with a good quality protein/fat such as a nut butter.
Why ditch the wheat?
For many of us wheat based breads have become problematic. Complaints around bloating, IBS, eczema, depression and tiredness to name but a few have all been linked in many scientific studies to the consumption of wheat. When you consider that the wheat we eat now in our supermarket breads is a from a hybridized grains with 30% more gluten than our grandparents were exposed to, then you can see why so many people are removing wheat and or gluten from their diets, However, there are many other reasons for these types of symptoms and following this challenge does not replace an appointment with a nutritional therapist who can help you get to the root of your particular health challenges and may refer you for further testing via your GP.
At this stage just replacing a poor quality bread with limited nutrient value and some potential disbenefits with something more nutrient dense and with a good source of both soluble and insoluble fibre can be a huge asset for maintaining health. There are of course many alternatives to wheat breads such as rye, spelt, amaranth and quinoa. Look out for these breads in theBiona range in the supermarket
However, for now, let's keep it simple. Oatcakes are delicious and portable. You can carry them in your handbag/briefcase to work or out for lunch. They are fab with soups so you are not tempted to pick up that bread. You can add any topping you like as you would a sandwich or have along with a bag of salad (NOT one of those awful pasta salads but a packet of greens or egg or other protein such as salmon in with your salad) Ideally make your salad at home with lots of veg and some protein, either meats, fish or veggy source such as kidney beans.
For snacking, they are ideal and can be enjoyed with some nut butters (check out almond, cashew and pumpkinseed butters or some pate or humus. You will find that you only need one and are ready for action with sustained energy! Similarly, they are great as a bedtime snack to keep you going through the night.
Check out some nut butters at your health food shops. For example, Meridian Almond Butter. Now also available in Supermarkets.
For breakfast you could replace that toast habit with oatcakes and an egg based breaky, or try oats as a porridge topped with nuts and seeds and a few berries. The great portability of oatcakes in the individual packets means that if you are in a rush, just make a boiled egg the night before (or as you take your shower!) and take your egg to work with some oatcakes to have when you get there. (Far superior to most cereals on the market!)
We would love it if you got your family, friends, work colleagues to join you in this 21 day oatcake challenge. Many people find changing their diet a little daunting, but this is a fabulous way to make such a huge benefit to your health in a short time.. You will be surprised at how well you do. Bon appetit!!
If you would like more ideas to support your health goals pop into Nourishing Insights, 44 St Andrew Street, Aberdeen, AB25 1JA for a chat and some advice.
Well it's been a few weeks now since I planted out my garden so I thought I would post a few pictures and let you see how it's getting on. Amazingly, everything is still alive, even the basil which I have to admit is looking a bit pasty but it's the longest I've ever kept one going so I'm proud!
The salad leaves are thriving and the mix of sunshine and showers we have had the last few weeks seems to be just what they need. I'm looking forward to my first harvest of leaves tonight to make a yummy salad with last nights left over roast chicken!
I think I am now a grow your own convert and will be ordering the autumn/ winter garden later on in the summer. If I can do it so can you!
Last week we posted about where to buy your organic produce from but have you ever thought about growing your own? I have tried and failed to grow my own many times, I always seem to be blighted by the weather, slugs, caterpillars, seeds don't germinate etc etc and the only things that I ever manage to grow are potatoes and fruit bushes. Basically things you can't go wrong with. I am eternally envious of those green fingered few who seem to be able to grown anything and wish I could do the same!
This year after hearing about Rocket Gardens I thought I would try again. Rocket Gardens send you out your very own, organically grown mini plants, lovingly tucked up in a bed of straw, packaged into a box and sent straight to your door. Not wanting to get ahead of myself I ordered the window box garden. It arrived last week and I was very excited to unpack my box and plant my mini-plants out in plant pots (after I nipped to homebase to buy some more, clearly underestimated how many plants I was getting!). You could plant them straight into the ground but I'm lazy and pots are easier to weed!
My box contained:
Dwarf French Green Beans x 3
Mixed lettuces x 10
Rocket x 10
Mizuna x 10
Spinach x 10
Golden streak mustard x 10
Spring onions x 10
Beetroot x 10
Basil x 1 pot
Parsley x 1 pot
Chives x 1 pot
We are now a week on and I haven't managed to accidentally kill them! In fact they seem to be doing well and that's with a whole week of cold and rain. The only things that aren't outside are the green beans and basil as it is still too cold for them to go out just yet but they are happy enough on the kitchen windowsill and growing away. Hopefully my luck with this years crop will continue and I will be harvesting yummy salad leaves all through the summer! Will let you know how I get on.
I have even bought some strawberries and planted them in a hanging basket away from slugs and Molly (the puppy) who would eat them! If I can do it so can you! Why not pop along to the garden centre or order a lovely organic garden from Rocket Gardens.
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